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The third STEAM Game Festival has come to a close and what a journey has it been for the past few summer days! This week-long digital event featured gameplay livestreams and also chats and AMAs with developers from across the world. From 40 odd demos in their Spring Edition, Steam upped their game to over 900! And since it was a limited-time event and it’s nigh-impossible to try out every one of them, our crew took the task to heart. Through a series of short articles, each of our writers will be reporting on the top 3 demos they found to be the most fascinating. Without further ado, here are my STEAM Game Festival takeaways!

Exo One

Developer: Exbleative

Release date: TBD

Available on: Microsoft Windows

In this surreal game by developer Jay Weston, you pilot a mysterious alien craft across unique alien worlds. Unlike other traditional video games, this one has no challenges, time limits, or combat. Your only goal is to use gravity and momentum to make yourself one with the flow – switch shapes from a ball to a disc to suit your traversal across eerie landscapes.

With traversal mechanics reminiscent of the fluid and floaty movement from the cult indie hit Journey, the story influences from hard sci-fi novel Contact by Carl Sagan and the cold aloofness similar to Star Child from Kubrick’s seminal work 2001: A Space Odyssey, this game packs in a lot, with seemingly no effort at all. The biggest takeaway, of course, is the hypnotic soundtrack by Rhys Lindsay accompanying the game – the haunting isolation in the soft strumming of the guitar is going to keep pulling you in.  


Developer: Trepang Studios

Release date: TBD

Available on: Microsoft Windows

This Unreal 4 powered single-player gun-fu FPS wears its inspiration on its sleeve – from F.E.A.R.’s oppressive monochrome interiors and the hint of the supernatural, Matrix’s bullet-time, Splinter Cell’s darkness-is-your-friend stealth to John Wick’s relentless method-to-the-madness action – this game seems to blend all of it with unassuming expertise. In the demo from the campaign’s prologue, you break out from a heavily-guarded blacksite, and engage in brutal close-quarters melee and gun combat peppered with gore, dismemberment, and shattered concrete. As to what the name of the game means, you will have to wait till release!

Cyanide & Happiness – Freakpocalypse Part 1: Hall Pass To Hell

Developer: Explosm and Skeleton Crew Studios

Release date: Summer 2020

Available on: Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS

Based on the dark humor webcomic Cyanide & Happiness, this point and click adventure game is dripping with South Park vibes. Set in the unified C&H universe, long time fans will be overjoyed seeing the return of some (or all?) of the weird but beloved characters. You play as Coop, a ginger school kid trying to navigate the complex life of a teenager. In the demo, you scrounge for stuff to help some kids make toilet hooch in exchange for a fake hall pass.

The main game (Part 1 of an expected multi-game series) promises fully voiced dialogue, cinematic cutscenes, original soundtrack, unlockable cutscenes, a chunky main story with optional side quests and an unexpected apocalypse.

That’s the end of my list. My only regret is not being able to include more games on this list, as there sure were lots of good finds during the Game Festival.

Watch out for our second Takeaway article tomorrow!

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